Jake DeGennaro and Alexander Iorio are lifelong friends. They’re also avid recreational fishermen who noticed a problem with their pastime that was literally dangling right in front of them.
“Jake and I were fishing together on the Delaware River and right in the trees above our heads you could see all this tangled fishing line just hanging there,” says Iorio. “We were talking about how unfortunate it was that that fishing line was probably going to be there forever.”
If left untouched, DeGennaro says, waste fishing line can take 600 years to fully decompose. And imagine this: if all fishermen left behind three inches of line per year (a gross underestimate, he notes), the length of the discarded line would extend roughly 2,350 miles. To put it in perspective, that would stretch from TCNJ’s campus in Ewing to the outskirts of Los Angeles, California.
The pair of engineering majors — DeGennaro, mechanical and Iorio, civil — are now on an entrepreneurial mission to protect our planet with a simple and effective tool to collect waste fishing line.